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“Property Hub Invest offered me a one-stop-shop”


Mary Vernazza, originally from London, now lives in Hong Kong. She works as an accountant and has a portfolio of six properties in the UK

What motivated you to invest in the UK? 

Having grown up in the UK, it felt like a natural investment choice due to its familiarity.  

Why did you choose to use Property Hub Invest? 

I was considering investing in property and read various books, including Rob Dix’s, which led me to Property Hub Invest. I appreciated the thorough initial chat with my portfolio manager in which I was reminded to consider my own personal goals, which was refreshing as I was expecting a full-on sales pitch.   

The analytical approach to each deal was a plus for me, as was the fact Property Hub Invest offered me a one-stop-shop including recommendations for mortgage advisors, legal firms, accountants, interior designers, snagging firms, and letting agents, providing me with peace of mind, knowing that reputable professionals were handling all necessary tasks on my behalf.  

What type of property did you choose to invest in, and why? 

I’m open to different types of property, but so far, I’ve invested in new apartments. I appreciate the low maintenance and high rental demand.    

How did you navigate the process of purchasing property in the UK from afar? 

I didn’t feel like I had to navigate at all, the path was well trodden. The process was smooth, mainly conducted through email and specialised apps for identity verification.  

How did Property Hub Invest help with this process? 

Property Hub Invest helped by guiding and explaining what and when things were supposed to happen during the purchasing process and provided their recommendations on other service providers when needed all the way through to collecting the keys on my behalf.   

Did you encounter any challenges? 

The only real hurdle, though minor, was setting up or reviving dormant bank accounts, which proved a bit tricky. Thankfully, banks with international reach and new online options came to the rescue. Also, having a UK mobile number helped smooth things along.  

I did have one bad experience when a deal unexpectedly fell through due to the investor behind the developer pulling out. Fortunately, we managed to recoup most of the deposit and refunds, minimising any financial hit. While these kinds of bumps aren’t unusual for expat investors, Property Hub’s help in liaising with service providers made the whole process much less of a headache.  

How did you handle financial aspects like mortgages, taxes, and currency exchange? 

I use a specialist accounting firm to handle my tax returns and reminders. I send them property receipts and answer their questions. Global transfers take time and money, so plan ahead to save. Some providers offer fixed fees for exchanges, but remember, not all FX services are banks.  

What’s your post-purchase experience been like?

The rental market has been amazing lately, making my experience really positive. Once Property Hub collects the keys, they hand them over to the property management company to kick off the letting process. I get notified when there’s a potential tenant, and if everything looks good, they move forward with the checks. Every now and then, the white goods need fixing, and while the property agent’s first idea might not always match mine, a quick email or call sorts it out.

What advice would you give to other expats considering investing in the UK? 

The most important lesson for me is to not put down more than 10% deposit when investing in off-plan. I understand there to be consumer protections in place up to 10%, so anything above 10% is at your own risk. 

Would you recommend Property Hub Invest to other expats? 

Yes, I would definitely recommend Property Hub, particularly if you are less experienced. I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge from Property Hub and still continue to do so.   

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